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Join us for 5-Day & 4-Nights in Benog Forest & Sainji Village experience in Mussoorie filled with nature trails and village treks. Visit local-mountain communities and hikes in the largest wildlife and nature reserve of Mussoorie. We invite students on a multi-day adventure into the forests, and experience the village-life in the Himalayan region of Uttarakhand. 

 

About the Himalayan Existence Trip:  

 

With this trip, we will provide the students an authentic village experience where they will get to see the village culture, experience the local food and for a day be a part of it. The walk through the village will give the students a sneak-peak into the village life and they will get to know the community they are growing in and spending their most crucial year, school life, a little better. Not to mention, the feel of the tranquil village atmosphere. Students will also get a glimpse of/see for themselves how our individual actions are collectively affecting communities, even the remotest ones. 

 

What We Enjoy On This Trip:

 

- The beauty of the forest and sounds of nature, soaring around you 

- Inimitable Himalayan eco- system, - forest, flora and fauna

- Jungle Night Camping in alpine tents

- An exhilarating walk to the temple and Murray pump by the stream

- Peaceful environs of the village life and living with the community. 

  • This was an amazing experience! And overcoming my fear of heights was the best part of it! From rocky walks to slippery ones, everything was perfect! Connecting with nature and knowing the real importance of it, makes me realise how careful we have to be at our every step. And I am very thankful that we had perfect people /teachers to guide us and making us believe in ourselves. Also segregating the waste sought me to help my surroundings clean. - Puallu Sharma (Student, Grade 10)

Himalayan Existence:Nature & Sustainability

About Benog Mountain Quail Sanctuary (aka. Benog Forest): 

A scientific profiling of the biodiversity at the Benog Mountain Quail Wildlife Sanctuary in Mussoorie is underway. Under the exercise, around 90 bird species have been recorded in the sanctuary, including the Himalayan Shrike-Babbler, Goldcrest and Peregrine falcon. Species of butterflies and reptiles will be among others that will be recorded.

 

The sanctuary is home to a wide variety of orchids and the Mountain Quail, an extremely elusive species that was thought to be extinct by 1876, until it was sighted in Mussoorie.

Stimulate a sense of wonder and cultivate an appreciation for the natural world: The programme aims to support children in developing imagination through fun and engaging Conservation & Community service based activities in the outdoors. 

 

G.E.M.S. at Sainji Village

Founders & Faculty Lori (McFadyen) and Kunwar Singh Chauhan run the Garhwal English Medium School - a charitable school in the Kempty range of Mussoorie. G.E.M.S provides education to 200 children from 25 villages across remote Indian Himalaya regions.

 

The school has developed through their collaborative experience. Kunwar and Lori Chauhan met eight years ago and realized they shared a desire to make a difference in the lives of the Jaunpur/Jansar-Bawar people. G.E.M.S - Garhwal English Medium School, is one of the projects initiated by the NGO 'GOUN' (like ‘village’ in Hindi) - The Garhwal Organisation for Uplifting the Needy.

 

Lori, a Canadian anthropologist and headmaster for the Garhwal English Medium School and Kunwar, a man who has worked to improve the conditions of local rural villages and has previously a been a member of the Zilat Panchyat.  

Mussoorie, Uttarakhand Location & Surroundings Photo Gallery:

Himalayan Existence:Nature & Sustainability

Check-in & Explore

Benog Wildlife Sanctuary, Mussoorie

Morning: Welcome on arrival & camp-life introductions - 

Students are received by TTH faculty at the railway station/ or at School (in case of DehraDun /Mussoorie) and transported to our venue location in deluxe coaches or similar vehicles.

On arrival at the campsite, the group is greeted with refreshments followed by a quick round of briefing and introductions. We begin the day with a talk about the surrounding areas and its ecology. We discuss the plan for the day, our expectations, methodology, basic guidelines on ethical explorations and issuing of outdoor gear.

 

Noon: Outdoor session & short exploration - 

After a short break, we begin with tent pitching and instruction on camp life. Students learn how to sleep warm, pack a backpack, outdoor hygiene, overview/introduction to leave no trace© ethics including how to prepare a campfire.

Now, students are served a freshly cooked lunch prepared from locally sourced vegetables and other foods. We have an elaborate menu of local dishes for all kinds of pallets and it can be shared/prepared on request. 

 

Evening: Basecamp activities & dinner with a campfire - 

Before the sun sets in, we prepare and assemble for the sunset-hike to forest nearby. This is an easy walk in the forest which can take up between 2-3 hours depending on the walking speed and student’s ability on a moderate uphill climb.

A few volunteers go out hunting for wood (in the old fashioned way) for campfire. Later in the evening, after tea and refreshments, we build the campfire and settle down for a round of relaxation with music and folklore. 

 

Overnight #1: Forest Camping in Tents (-5 degree/weather-proof/top-quality TTH tents) 

Talks & Sessions: Camp-life essentials, Outdoor basics, Personal hygiene & Mindfulness 

Outdoor Activities: Walking | Hiking | Camping | Campfire | Cooking | Observation 

Healthy Meals: Fresh Lunch | Natural Refreshments | Local food for Dinner

Day-out in the Woods!

Benog Wildlife Sanctuary, Mussoorie

Breakfast & Walk: Snow-clads | Jwala Devi temple -

Rise and shine, post breakfast we prepare and assemble for the day-hike to Benog hill-top near Jwala Devi Temple (5+5kms). This is an easy to moderate hike which can take up between 2-3 hours depending on the walking speed and student’s ability on an uphill climb.

 

Noon: Outdoor sessions & full-day exploration -

We walk along the old mining trails in the forest. Observing & identification of local flora. Find a good spot and spread out your limbs and open up your picnic lunch in the jungle (veg / egg biryani with raita, salad, pickles and fruits). After lunch return to the camp and enjoy the freshwater pool. After a brief rest, test your culinary skills with team-wise participation in our outdoor cooking competition (done on Chulha with local ingredients).

 

Evening: Basecamp activities & dinner with a campfire -

Later in the evening, after tea and refreshments, we build the campfire and settle down for a round of relaxation with music and singing and all those interesting anecdotes waiting to be shared. This evening can be all different and with weather permitting, students go for a unique involvement with a short Night Walk in the jungle with flashlights. Then we head back for a delicious camp-dinner and overnight stay in tents.

 

Overnight #2: Forest Camping in Tents (-5 degree/weather-proof/top-quality TTH tents)

Talks & Sessions: Flora & Fauna Identification | Local History & Awareness

Outdoor Activities: Hiking | Stream Picnic | Campfire | Cooking | Observation

Healthy Meals: Fresh Lunch | Natural Refreshments | Local food for Dinner

Students Exchange at the Village School

Sainji Village, Mussoorie

Breakfast & Drive: Sainji Village (Jaunpur/Jansar region), Mussoorie -

The day begins early for there is lots to do. After breakfast we prepare and assemble for a trek to our next stop, a local school which we reach walking through forests and farmlands in the Kempty valley.

On arrival at the Garhwal English Medium School (G.E.M.S), we are welcomed and greeted by students of the school. This is accompanied with refreshments followed by a quick round of introductions. Students also meet one of the two founders of G.E.M.S - Lori (McFadyen), a Canadian anthropologist and headmaster for the school.

 

Noon: Open discussions & engagements at the village school -

We begin discussions and talks about the school and where the students come from. Students engage and learn from each other through play, discussion and art.

We discuss common issues of water-harvesting, waste management and solutions for impact on a local or student level. Students participate in a common lunch served at the school.

 

Evening: Village activities & dinner at homestay -

After lunch, we take the school bus to Sainji village, which will be our humble abode for the next two nights. At the village we go for a short walk to get a sense of the area and its community followed by refreshments. Before dark we settle in our homestay and take a short break for time on your own.

Later in the evening we are joined by a few children and people from the village for some local music, folklore and engagement with the village. We end the evening with a home cooked meal for dinner and overnight in the village homestay.

 

Overnight #3: Forest Camping in Tents (-5 degree/weather-proof/top-quality TTH tents)

Talks & Sessions: Local Communities & Culture | Village Education & Environment

Outdoor Activities: Hiking | Stream Picnic | Campfire | Cooking | Observation

Healthy Meals: Fresh Lunch | Natural Refreshments | Local food for Dinner

Farm Life Experiences

Sainji Village, Mussoorie

Our day begins early after a healthy breakfast. We prepare and assemble for our day in the village. Farmlife offers a natural opportunity to learn and see many text book concepts first hand.

 

As we walk along the village periphery we discuss Geography and agriculture. The difference between natural farming and organic farming. A short history of food through the ages. The importance of mooncycles, seasons and climate in food systems. Life under the soil and the importance of growing it. Seed ball making and Animal interactions, Composting- its importance and methods. Managing waste on a natural farm. Where making wealth out of waste is a way of life.

 

Topics can range from starting a Kitchen Garden, Understanding the basics of agriculture from preparing the soil to storing the harvested grains, the whole process. About Water, Its conservation and how it can be used sustainably in a human environment. Alternate energy from nature and how to harness it. These among many such discussions and experimental projects we can do along with Lunch in the farm.

 

Later in the evening we are joined by more students from the village for music, dancing, bonfire and fun. We end the evening with a symptoms home cooked meal for dinner and overnight in village homestay.

Reflections & Conclusion

Sainji Village, Mussoorie

It is time to say goodbye but not before you have sat and reflected on the last four days. Reflections are a key to cementing our memories. On the final day of your trip, post breakfast, you prepare and assemble for the day. The conclusive session would be during de-issue of the gear, with tips on care and maintenance of outdoor gear/equipment.

 

This is followed by refreshments and a heart to heart talk on the past four days. We share things we learned, we saw, we ate and discuss things to be mindful of when in wilderness or backcountry. Our takeaways, highs and lows, of the trip. The checkout is before noon.

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Please Note: The Himalayan Existence: Nature & Sustainability, 5D/4N trip can be customised to 4-day and 3-day programmes on request. The pricing will also change accordingly.

 

To join our trail talks and village walks Signup Here

 

Talk to our outdoor trip advisor about mountain-life experiences customised for your student/corporate group - Hello@TripTheHimalaya.In | +91-7300-686-293 | TripTheHimalaya.In

 

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Rs. 11,781/- Per Student for a 5D/4N Forest Camping Experience

Himalayan Existence

Fee: ₹ 11,781/- Per Student for 5-Day & 4 Nights Camping Package

Duration: The walks usually take 2-5 hours (Half-Day Hike/Walks)

Includes: Entry in to Benog Wildlife Reserve (Only Entry for 5 days. Camping inside is Not allowed) 

 

This cost does Not Include any local transport (cabs/coaches/etc), any unspecified meals, bottled water, or any other expenses not mentioned in the programme.

 

Note: Groups range from min 6 to max 24 students per batch. We limit people to small size group per batch in order to make the wilderness experience more effective.

ACTIVITY: Hiking & Instructions on trail walking, Knowledge on wildlife, local flora-fauna and Basic Principles of LNT© Ethics 

 

ACCOMMODATION: Boarding and lodging in 3/5 sharing accommodation in Tents and Camps with provision of clean toilet tents

 

MEALS: A lot of emphasis is given to nutritional needs and a menu of vegetarian dishes is prepared accordingly. Non-Veg menu can be provided on request. Refreshments will be served throughout. Provision of kitchen tents at both campsites

 

EXPERT INSTRUCTORS and Certified outdoors faculty, trained in wilderness first-aid.

 

SAFE-SECURE Environment during the trip, walks, hiking and stay

 

FOREST permits for hikes/walks, destination/park fees and Gratuities 

 

OUTDOOR/ CAMPING/TREKKING GEAR: Backpack: Sturdy 60 ltrs (with a plastic or waterproof lining), Sleeping bag and a Sleeping pad, Trekking stick, Gaiters. If required, liners bags for sleeping bags & backpacks, cup, bowl & spoon, will be provided

 

CAMPING GEAR: High quality trekking equipments like Tents, stoves, fuel & fuel bottles, cooking utensils, rations, trail food, trowels, water purification, first aid kits, etc will be provided, depending on type of trip.

 

INFORMATION: Nature/Outdoor based knowledge and trail talks

 

BACKCOUNTRY EMERGENCY: Our instructors are certified by Aerie Backcountry in Wilderness First Responder and Wilderness First Aid. We also have Medical Support from Landour Community Hospital (LCH). 

 

PLEASE NOTE: 

a) Personal Trekking Gear can also be provided on hire from our partner outfitting store in Mussoorie

b) You are welcome to bring and use Your Own Gear as well

c) All gear is Washed and Properly Checked before issue

d) In case of Damage or Loss of any gear, the students/ explorers shall be liable to pay for the cost

e) Some of the above mentioned gear may not be required for your chosen itinerary, therefore those items will not be issued to the students/ explorers.

Himalayan Existence :

Ideal Pack List to Trip the Himalaya:  Mentioned below is a broad list of basic items we recommend all students/ explorers should carry. You can always create your own pack-list based on your personal needs and medical requirements. 

 

IDEALLY BRING: 

Sun hat: Cotton/Nylon

Sunglasses: Preferably with an Anchor

Sun protection Lotion 

Water bottle: 2 Bottles of 1 litre capacity. Please insure that they do not leak. Hydration pack (optional)

Headlamp/ flashlight: Preferably a headlamp as it leaves your hands free to work. Please bring extra batteries

Wrist watch: Is a must for trips

Rain wear: Rain Poncho, Rain Pants & Rain Jackets (During Monsoon)

Toilet articles: Toothbrush, toothpaste, items of personal hygiene, etc

Pocket knife: Optional, fixed blade or locking preferred

Personal medications: If any, please also carry your doctor’s prescription and fill out our Medical History form. 

Lip balm/ chapstick or Moisturiser             

Camera/ Phone: Optional

Any other personal gear: Please note you will be carrying all your gear by yourself

Stationary: Notebook and pen/pencils 

 

IDEALLY WEAR: 

Comfortable and Athletic clothing (rain proof/ wind-proof)

Wool gloves: 1 Pair

Warm Jacket: 1 Jacket (woollen/ fleece)

Warm shirts & pants: 1 Pair (synthetic or waterproof track pants)

Thermal Inner-wear: Bottom & Top

Hiking pants: 1 Pair

Hiking shirt preferably with a Long sleeve

Underwear: 3/4 Changes

Woollen/ Nylon socks: 2/3 Pairs

Hiking shoes: 1 Pair (High-ankle waterproof trekking shoes with good grip)

Slippers/ Sandals: For wearing in camp. Footwear should be closed toed. (No flip-flops)

Group Bookings: In order to manage the numbers and in the interest of students visiting, we do not generally accept last minute bookings. Please call/email in advance to book the trip and reach Dehradun/Mussoorie on the dates agreed with your school.

 

Trash Policy: We have a Litter-Free Walk Policy. Please be sure to dispose your waste responsibly and leave no trace on the hillside, during or after your hike. Be sensitive towards wildlife and nature.

 

General precautions for a proper acclimatisation. We advice those suffering from an ailment or heart disease, Diabetes, Breathing problems, High altitude sickness or is Pregnant Not to participate in this trek.

 

Travel in small groups. Respect local cultures and the heritage.

 

Kempty Region

Himalayan Existence:Nature & Sustainability

Frequently asked questions by our clients on:

4 Seater cab rental option including tolls, insurance and fuel: Rs. 3500/- per vehicle, per day Or Rs. 1500/- per vehicle, One way. 

 

Transfers cost between Dehra Dun railway station to Mussoorie, one-way ranges between Rs. 1600/- to Rs. 2500/- to Rs. 6000/- for a 4 seater,  8-9 seater & 13 seater vehicle respectively. 

 

The passenger vans/mini-coaches we use, hold between to 13-18 pax. Mini bus holds 27 pax, SUV/MUV hold up to 7 pax and all smaller cabs up to 4 pax. We do not over load vehicles with even one extra passenger.  

 

We use Maruti Dzire, Toyota Innova, Mahindra Xylo, Mahindra Scorpio, or similar vehicles. The transport tariff includes all driver charges, fuel, parking, toll and taxes.

 

No local jeeps or similar vehicles are used except for TTH staff where we require short transfers from between camps to the trek points. 

 

Hiking Boots:  A mid or high boot will protect you ankle from unnatural twists and sprain on uneven terrain. Tough, chiseled Vibram soles made for trail hiking will grab onto rock and slippery surfaces and will hold up against lots of abuse over time much better than regular running shoes or sneakers

 

Quick-dry or soft-shell outdoor pants: Jeans, which are made out of cotton, absorb humidity and water and stay very wet which, if the water or air is cold,  can lead to hypothermia. They also do not insulate as well as synthetic fiber pants do.

 

Waterproof outer layer of pants and jacket: A breathable but completely waterproof pants and jacket combo will ensure that your under layers stay dry from rain and release moisture from sweat.

 

Wool socks: Like jeans, cotton socks retain moisture and adjust to the temperature of the atmosphere while wool socks keep you warm and dry even in heavy rain or after stepping in a puddle.

 

You said that I have to wear hiking boots. What if I have sneakers that I love to hike in?

In the winter, we recommend wearing hiking boots because they will keep your feet warm and dry. In the summer, many of our trails can be hiked in sneakers if you’re confident in your ability. Be aware that sneakers do not have the same tread or ankle support as a hiking boot. Simply put, boots are safer.

Where do I go to the bathroom? 

The majority of the trails we hike on do not have established bathrooms. In short, nature is your bathroom.

 

Bathroom Facilities: 

There is a restroom available at the beginning and the end of your hike. 

 

Should I tip my guide? 

Our guides are the best you’ll find anywhere. If you had a great day with us, a tip is always appreciated.

This region does not have well-demarcated walking trails that you can explore alone. We recommend taking a guided walk with one of our local guides who are trained in birdwatching, wildlife identification, natural history and know a great deal about the uses of the various plants and herbs in the forest. This will greatly enrich your experience. Walking with the guides also enables you to experience the thrill of checking one or more of the hidden villages in the valley, where life is still sustainable.

 

Most circuits will take min 3-4 hours to cover, accounting for time to rest, indulge in photography and explore the many facets of nature and culture in the region. Please carry your own drinking water as there aren't many dependable drinking water sources and, which will require additional walking to get to.

 

Depending on the weather and time available, your guide can arrange refreshments in the forest or at the end of the walk but there are not other food or catering facilities in the forest/hiking areas. 

Morning Tea for Teachers/Faculty members and Chocolate milk for the students. 

 

Breakfast Menu: 

1. Stuffed Paranthas with Curd / Poori Bhaji / Choley Bhaturey 

2. Bread with Jam & Butter 

3. Vermicelli / Poha / Idli, Vada, Sambhar, Chutney

4. Porridge / Cornflakes Milk 

5. Tea / Coffee 

 

Mid Morning Replenishment like Lemonade / Jalzeera etc 

 

Lunch Menu:

1. Gravy Veg 

2. Dry Veg

3. Dal / Rajmah / Kadhi / Lobiya, etc  

4. Steamed Rice / Pulao 

5.  Tandoori Roti / Naan 

6. Curd Preparation 

7. Salad, Papad and Pickles 

8. Fruits 

 

Evening Tea Refreshments like Lemonade / Jalzeera etc 

 

Dinner Menu: 

1. Soup 

2. Chicken Dish (in n.veg groups)

3. Paneer Dish

4. Dry Seasonal Vegetables 

5. Dal / Rajmah / Lobiya, etc  

6. Steamed Rice / Pulao 

7. Salad, Papad and Pickles

8. Dessert

 

Optionally a full Chinese dinner can be offered on one of the nights. Menu of the same would be - Soup, Chilly Chicken (in n.veg groups), Chowmein, Fried Rice, Chilly Paneer, Manchurian and Dessert

 

Are we going hiking even though it’s raining and windy? 

We do hike in the rain, snow, wind and any other weather conditions that nature decides to throw at us. After all, we’re going on adventures! If the weather is unsafe for any reason, the trip will be changed or postponed. You will be notified the week of your trip if there are changes due to weather.

 

Will we still be going snowshoeing if there’s no snow in the forecast? 

If we schedule a snowshoeing trip, we make every effort to select a trail that has adequate snow for a great trip. If this is not possible we will change the trip to a winter hike.

Mussoorie offers an exceptional field laboratory for institutions interested in ecological or wildlife research, including on topics such as ecological restoration, animal behaviour, watershed management and others. Please contact us to explore opportunities in this field.

At the Benog Wildlife Sanctuary area, TTH can also organise specialised activity packages for school children ranging from 8-14 years. These can be day activities or 1 to 5 day programmes where camping or village homestay and stays in a dormitory can be arranged in collaboration with our local campsites, which is located within walking distance of waterfalls and villages.

 

We organise a full-day experience with a picnic at the stream for students who wish to spend their day in the forest and learn more about wilderness.

 

The learning-cum-activity experience for school children can be tailor-made to the requirements of each school. It would include a combination of classroom talks as well as hands-on activities in the forest including learning how to set up a campsite, backpacking, monitoring and documenting flora and fauna, trekking, community interactions, and more. Please contact us to learn about what is on offer. At the campsite, we also offer adventure sports related activities apart from hiking and trekking.

 

We can also organise teacher training workshops for nature and environmental studies in collaboration with our partner organisations.

TTH organises expert guided half/full-day walks in the Benog forest from time to time, usually on weekends for individuals and groups. These walks will be posted on our website in advance for signing up and are also announced through a mailer that we send out to people on our mailing list. Please drop us a line at Hello@TripTheHimalaya.In if you would like to be on our mailing list and learn more about the special hikes and walks. The hike usually take 3-4 or 4-5 hours and are priced at Rs. 900-2300 per person. At these walks, expert naturalists, photographers, botanists, birders, writers, artists, and more will enhance your experience and knowledge about the flora, fauna, history, geography and culture of the Himalayas.

 

If you would like to organise a tailored walk focusing on a special aspect of nature including birdwatching, flower or mushroom identification, butterfly trails, photography or any related topic. Or would like to bring a group for other compatible activities such as meditation, art or nature writing, etc. please contact us and we can help to organise this. We prefer to have groups ranging from 3-15 individuals for most activities.

Please Read our:

Group Bookings: In order to manage the numbers and in the interest of students visiting, we do not generally accept last minute bookings. Please call/email in advance to book the trip and reach Dehradun/Mussoorie on the dates agreed with your school.

 

Trash Policy: We have a Litter-Free Walk Policy. Please be sure to dispose your waste responsibly and leave no trace on the hillside, during or after your hike. Be sensitive towards wildlife and nature.

 

General precautions for a proper acclimatisation. We advice those suffering from an ailment or heart disease, Diabetes, Breathing problems, High altitude sickness or is Pregnant Not to participate in this trek.

 

Travel in small groups. Respect local cultures and the heritage.

 

The client receives a confirmation via email within 24 hours of successful booking. The customer may choose to cancel their booking and a full refund will be processed. 

 

If Cancellations are made - 

 

30 days before the start date of the trip, 25% of booking value will be charged as Cancellation fees. 

 

15-30 days before the start date of the trip, 50% of booking value will be charged as cancellation fees.

 

0-15 days before the start date of the trip, 100% of booking value will be charged as cancellation fees.

 

The applicable refund amount will be processed within 10 business days

 

In case of unforeseen weather conditions or government restrictions, certain activities may be cancelled and in such cases we will try our best to provide an alternate feasible activity. However no refund will be provided for the same.